RWANDA was once again in the regional media for a good reason. One of our own, Alpha Rwirangira was brought home the top prize in the recently concluded Tusker Project Fame III musical competition held in Nairobi, Kenya.
The 23 year old earned a cool 35 million Rwandan francs!
On the social networking site, Facebook, Alpha was the biggest topic for most Rwandan users.
There were all sorts of support groups in his favour. It was therefore well deserved when he eventually managed to walk away with the big cash prize and a lucrative recording contract with a South African studio, thanks to East African Breweries Limited (EABL).
On arrival at the airport, the victorious Alpha was met by huge crowds of supporters wearing T-shirts with his image on the front.
Speaking to the press, Alpha’s father Joseph Bizima called upon parents to respect and nurture their children’s talents.
My prayer is that his message will be heeded not just by the parents but also teachers of talented students.
Children spend most of their life in school and this compels us the teachers to play the role of a parent to the children as they attend school. It is also at school that a child’s talents are most likely to be noticed and developed.
The home cannot do much to develop one’s talent since the facilities needed may not be easy to install at home.
It is almost impossible for a parent to have a football pitch at home for the son. However, such facilities are usually part and parcel of a good school’s infrastructure.
As a student the school writers’ club provided me the opportunity to develop my love for writing at an early stage. Similarly, a student who is talented at football for instance should be allowed to develop his talent by joining the school team and playing regularly.
The role of parents therefore is largely one of moral support to their children. As a child, my mother always made sure that I read the day’s newspaper after her because she had long noticed my interest in current affairs.
We all know how the famous Williams sisters (Venus and Serena) became top tennis stars because of the efforts of their father.
What all this means is that parents and teachers need to work hand in hand to promote the talents of the young ones as they help them mould a better future.
Schools offer children the best chance for this kind of development to take root but the parents need to be supportive as well.
For this to be realised, schools ought to invest handsomely in materials and infrastructure that engender talent development such as sports facilities, libraries, as well music instruments and costumes.
On top of the facilities, the schools have to go a step further and provide students with the right forum to discover their talents.
This happens when regular sports competitions where different classes can compete against each other. More so, the children could be grouped into houses and this used as a basis for the competitions annually.
In the same light, regular music, dance and drama festivities must be organised to cater for those with the talent to become the next Alpha or even Michael Jackson.
The Education Ministry, Sports and culture ministry should also see to it that regular competitions among schools are organised.
Finally, the talented students should be rewarded as a way of motivating them. Talented students should be recognised and rewarded handsomely.
Just stop and think about this, 23 year-old Alpha is now 35 million francs richer.
Now think about what your student or child would do to get just a portion of that money.
As we congratulate Alpha, we need to ensure that he is not the last of his kind for there are many other Rwandans who are as talented or even more talented but may be not as lucky as Alpha.Follow https://twitter.com/ssojo81